. . .upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18

Types of Abuse

The 'Peace at any Price' Personality


These individuals are COMPLIANT PEOPLE. Frequently, they are people who were raised by aggressive parents who controlled them by using a combination of guilt, rejection and condemnation to assure proper behavior. For compliants, "no" is the hardest word in the English language. These individuals so fear rejection that they will go to great lengths to please people, sometimes at the expense of their own convictions. They are an EASY MARK FOR SELFISH PEOPLE WHO MIGHT USE OR ABUSE THEM. Most people who are compliant don't realize the fact that their inbred insecurities attract abusers to them.

For example, this was Jamies problem. You wouldn't think Jamie was compliant. She was busy all the time. Every move she made revealed efficiency, self-control, and poise. The volunteers under her charge moved quickly and respectfully at her directives. Her character and talents were highly regarded by the leadership. However, Jamie was a compliant individual. "No" was not in her vocabulary. Anything and everything that was asked of her to do, she did. Jamie's home became disordered and chaotic. Jamie was in the grip of performance. Her need for love and significance were so great that she was driven. She felt guilty if she said "no" to people's requests, capitulating easily. Though she was outgoing and presented the appearance of strength and determination, inside she was fearful and timid.

What produced this style of relating in Jamie? She obviously had a personality that appeared to be strong. How did the compliancy develop? Jamie's compliance started early in her life. She was raised by a mother who was CONTROLLING and MANIPULATING. Anytime Jamie tried to assert herself, her mother beat her back into compliance with a combination of REJECTION, CONDEMNATION, and GUILT. Jamie learned early that to achieve love, security, and significance, she must buckle to her MOTHER'S DEMANDS and standards of behavior.

Because the dominant authority figure in her life USED GUILT and REJECTION TO CONTROL HER, Jamie developed compliancy in order to feel loved, secure, and significant. Consequently, she felt THREATENED IF SHE REFUSED ANY REQUEST. Resentment and bitterness grew. She withdrew from church. Jamie feared rejection so much that it caused her to have a gripping fear of confronting another person. Instead, she tried to be all things to all people. When that failed, and it always does, she fled to escape the burden of her compliance and the possible rejection of the people around her.

Another example was Scott. Scott was raised by a controlling mother who USED GUILT and REJECTION to MANIPULATE HIS BEHAVIOR. Scott's mother took CONTROL a step further in that she allowed Scott NO PERSONAL SPACE. Consequently, as a married man, Scott developed difficulties with his wife. They constantly battled over Scott's refusal to stand up to his boss. His employer made excessive demands on Scott's time by expecting Scott to work overtime without pay.

Scott was talented and inventive. However, not only did his employer exploit Scott, he frequently took credit for many of Scott's creative innovations. Not only did he refuse to challenge his boss, he made excuses for him and defended his boss's selfish behavior. Scott was a loyal devotee of the adage "peace at any price." He AVOIDED CONFLICT AT ALL COST.

Scott indulged the same attitudes with his mother and father. His mother took the position that NO ONE WAS GOOD ENOUGH FOR "Junior" and never missed an opportunity to drive that point home with Scott's wife. As the innuendoes and UNDERHANDED INSULTS flew, Scott PASSIVELY TUNED OUT. His wife felt hurt and violated. When she BEGGED Scott to intervene, HE TOOK THE PEACEMAKER ROLE, EXPLAINING AND DEFENDING his parents' behavior.

Scott's mother was particularly MEDDLESOME and MANIPULATIVE! She HOVERED OVER HIM EMOTIONALLY and PHYSICALLY. She was overly involved in his life, wanting to solve his problems in an effort to make him popular and successful. She COACHED and DRILLED him socially and was a participant in ALL OF HIS DECISIONS. Not only did she VIOLATE HIS RELATIONAL SPACE, she TRANSGRESSED HIS PERSONAL SPACE as well. His mother INTRUDED on him IN HIS ROOM, frequently entering without knocking. Scott had little personal privacy. Scott's mother INVADED EVERY AREA OF HIS LIFE.

During adolescence, Scott feebly tried to resist his mother's violations. She responded with rejection and cold indifference HE NEVER LEARNED THAT HE HAD A RIGHT TO PERSONAL BOUNDARIES. Now, as an adult, Scott conducted his relationships in a similar manner, FEELING HE HAD NO RIGHTS OR BOUNDARIES. He was PARALYZED WITH FEAR OF REJECTION. Scott believed his needs for love, security, and significance were jeopardized if he rocked the boat.

Characteristic of compliance is INCONSISTENCY. Consistency breeds security within a child. If there are no clear-cut, consistent parameters, then establishing boundaries later on might be troublesome. A FEAR OF REJECTION will become a motivating influence in his life. COMPLIANCY WAS NEVER A PART OF GOD'S PLAN FOR MAN and must not be confused with genuine humility and submission.

Though Jesus was humble, He was NOT COMPLIANT. Some people view Jesus as a wimp, who turned the other cheek and washed people's feet. Nothing was further from the truth. Jesus stood up to the most influential groups of Jews in Israel, the hypocritical Pharisees and the Sadducees. They tried to trap Him into error, but they never succeeded. They attempted to sway public opinion against Him, but He never wavered. They beat Him, spit on Him, and ultimately conspired with the Romans to kill Him, but HE NEVER RECANTED ON HIS GOSPEL OF LOVE AND MERCY. Most Jewish leaders rejected Jesus as the Son of God. However, JESUS KNEW WHO HE WAS AND WHAT HE STOOD FOR!

Jesus's gentle, meek, and humble spirit must NOT be confused with compliance. He was strong and firm in His convictions and NEVER COMPROMISED His mission on earth by embracing an attitude of "peace at any price."

Compliant people must realize that they are not jeopardizing the fulfillment of their needs for love, security, and significance when they establish healthy limits. THEY MUST CONQUER THE FEAR OF REJECTION AND STAND AS JESUS DID!


Excerpt from Freedom From Your Past by Jimmy Evans.